Sam grabbed the last cola from the fridge.
The only light that shone was from the luminous, white light of the open fridge. It cast shadows around the messy room surrounding him. Dishes lay forgotten on the countertops and tempted a group of flies buzzing overhead. A thin layer of dust coated the surfaces and was inhaled into irritated lungs.
Eyes peered at Sam through the dark and made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. He squeezed the bottle in his sweaty palm and forced himself to turn to the shadowy figure behind him.
Blonde hair curled around the edges of Ariana’s small, pointed chin. Her eyes were glossy and tired, filled with a quiet rage.
“Look at you. You haven’t changed a bit,” Ariana said.
“But I have,” Sam replied. “I can’t breathe, Ari.”
“You should have savored the time you had with me instead of wasting it on that stupid computer,” she said. “You took me for granted.”
“I know, oh Ari, I know. The past few months have been hell for me.” Sam stepped towards the foggy image of Ariana but she only appeared that much farther from him.
“All I wanted was to be loved by you,” she said.
“I failed you and I hate myself more every day having to live with this mistake,” he replied. “If I could go back and fix it, I would.”
“It’s too late for me, Sam. Years too late.”
“It doesn’t have to be too late for him.”
Sam’s mind raced in confusion. The figure started to evaporate in front of him like smoke in the wind with no further explanation.
“Ariana, don’t leave please!”
He extended a shaky hand trying to grab onto what no longer existed.
Ariana’s eyes narrowed into thin slivers of blue that looked straight through him. “Goodbye, Sam.”
Sam gasped, dust catching in his throat as the figure vanished in front of him. The bottle slipped through his fingers shattering with a loud crack on the floor beneath him. Sam jumped at the sound, awakening him from his trance. He was alone once again in the dark kitchen. The broken glass glistened and dark liquid spread on the floor beneath his feet.
The doorbell rang. He didn’t know what time it was, but it didn’t matter, the sound of the doorbell was frightening and unusual. He trudged towards the front door. His heart pounded and mind still tried to comprehend the words she said. He opened the door.
The light from the world outside stung his sleep-ridden eyes that had become accustomed to the dark. He had to squint to make out the people in front of him.
A woman stood there, glasses hanging from the tip of her nose. A small figure hid behind her, skinny limbs lay still to his sides. He looked up at Sam with familiar blue eyes. Sam had to look back towards the older woman for he was afraid if he looked into the blue eyes any longer they would tear into him and grasp his aching heart.
“Sam?” the woman asked. “I’m Rosie.”
Sam cleared his throat, opening his cracked lips to reply. “Yes?”
“I’m sorry we had to meet under these circumstances. Um, you were with a young lady, Ariana, a few years back?”
Her name sounded foreign coming from the lips of a stranger. Sam tilted his head in confusion, aware of the small boy’s presence. The woman talked in a slow manner as if to make him understand better, as if the slow utterance would make the news anymore bearable.
“I’m afraid to tell you, but she has been in an accident. She didn’t make it.”
Sam felt the stab of pain like a knife to his heart. His eyes flooded with tears, blurring and distorting the strangers before him.
“I’m very sorry,” Rosie said. “I know that you two haven’t spoken, but…” Her wrinkled hand, distorted in Sam’s teary eyes, fell to the small boy’s shoulder. She forced him forward in front of Sam.
The boy’s blue eyes stared up at Sam like a mirror, reflecting his fear back at him. Sam was tempted to close his eyes so he did not have to look into them.
Rosie didn’t even need to speak the truth for Sam to know it was so. The nose, the blonde hair falling into his blue, glimmering eyes, it was all a representation of Ariana. It was as if Ariana herself were looking at Sam through the eyes of the boy.
Everything fell into place in his mind. The words that Ariana’s ghost had uttered to him suddenly made sense. This boy, her boy, was his last chance to make things right. It was his chance to be the man he was supposed to be, that he failed to be for her. He would not fail again.
Their eyes found each other unwavering. Sam’s heart ached and urged him to scream out, ‘I’m sorry, everything is my fault, I should have been there,’ but his lips remained sealed. They shared a silent moment, a connection of loneliness, confusion, and pain. The small, fragile boy was the last remaining piece of her.
Merci pour la lecture!
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